(1 Corinthians 6:13-18)
This section of scripture goes into great detail about warning us not to go down the path of sexual immorality. It is perhaps more relevant today than when it was written with the moral decline in this world where one night stands and all kinds of sexual perversions are the norm.
But hidden in this section is a verse that explains why it is so important to shun and flee from sexual immorality. The particular verse says,
But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. – (1 Corinthians 6:17)
Thus we have a dilemma that can only be resolved by following the advice of Paul by rejecting all forms of sexual immorality.
Sexual immorality has always been a problem for mankind. We are creatures of passion and lust, and our human passions would drive us unchecked to all kinds of sin if it were not for the constraints of civility. Even then many defy those constraints to act recklessly in the pursuit of personal and sexual gratification without consideration for what they are truly doing.
It was sexual immorality that caught King David out when he took Bathsheba and had her husband Uriah murdered. As recompense the Lord inflicted Israel with war for all of David’s lifetime. It was sexual immorality that saw Solomon, despite his wisdom, fall and allow idolatry and the worship of false gods to occur.
If men of God as great as these two were could fall foul to the lure of sexual immorality or the lusts and desires of the flesh, then how difficult is it for the rest of mankind.
But in Christ Jesus we must abstain, and fortunately in Christ Jesus we are given the power to reject passion and to live free from this and all temptations to sin. By walking in the spirit we can put away the lusts, passions and desires that well up within us and so live at peace with God and ourselves.
Purity is essential if we are to live with Christ. We must be pure in body, mind and spirit. And the only way to achieve this is to walk in purity with Jesus Christ.
We must learn to take every thought captive to obey Christ as the apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian church saying,
4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 6 being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete. – (2 Corinthians 10:4-6)
It is by using the weapons of the spirit and walking in the spirit that we are able to combat the desires of the flesh that drive our thoughts to uncleanness. As an unclean thought arises in our minds, whether to sexual immorality or any other form of impurity, we capture it through prayer, speaking in tongues or any other method, and extinguish the thought by replacing it with good thoughts.
This is the essence of walking in the spirit. We replace thoughts that are evil with thoughts that are of the spirit and so destroy the thought that would lead us to do wrong.
And in so doing we find that the passions that well up with the thoughts, the desires and lusts of the body, also fade away and dissipate as the thought is destroyed by the working of the Holy Spirit.
Thus we find purity in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. When we turn away from the things of this world and turn towards Jesus we find peace within and release from whatever is bothering us.
One Spirit With Christ
And when we live and act in this way our spirits are aligned by the Holy Spirit to be with Christ.
In various places we are told that Christ Jesus is being formed within us. This is the work of the Holy Spirit, to transform us into the image of Jesus Christ as we see in the following verse.
17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. – (2 Corinthians 3:17-18)
Each time we act to capture a thought that would lead us to do evil and destroy it by walking in the spirit, we move just one degree closer to the transformation of ourselves into the image of Jesus Christ. This is the primary work of the Holy Spirit within us; to bring us into Jesus Christ.
And because it is the spirit of Christ being formed within us by the Holy Spirit, we are truly becoming one spirit with Christ.
Which brings us back to the challenge Paul laid down in this verse we are looking at today.
15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” – (1 Corinthians 6:15-16)
If we are being transformed into the image of Jesus Christ and His spirit is dwelling within us, then would we be so foolish as to live lives of sexual immorality? Never! We must reject and flee from sexual immorality in the body as it is destructive. It is abhorrent to the Lord and is destructive to us and the people around us.
Nothing good ever came from living a life of sexual immorality. Consider those people in the world who live sexually immoral lives. People who make a living or have become famous through sexual immorality. We have the likes of Hugh Hefner and the Playboy empire, and more recently Travers Beynon, better known as “The Candyman” who runs elaborate, expensive and sexually immoral parties on the Australian Gold Coast. And consider the prostitutes and sex workers also.
None of these people have any respectability. They are not looked at as role models for people but are considered pariahs by the general population.
And why not? When we realise the destruction they cause in the promotion of their immoral lifestyles.
Sexual immorality leads to destruction of family and friends and relationships. It can cause people to be rejected by others affecting all areas of their life. And sexual immorality is the major cause of and spreading of sexually transmitted diseases.
It is unhealthy at a physical, social and spiritual level and thus should be shunned, rejected and as Paul says here, fled from.
In Christ we are being transformed to come into a spiritual relationship with God. We are being remade as new creations to learn to live as Christ lived; holy, righteous and pure. Sexual immorality, probably more than any other form of sin, can destroy that work in us because as we are told, it is a sin against our own bodies. It is not outside of us but within us, so it must be rejected so that he formation of Christ within is not impeded.
Learn to live led by the spirit of the Lord and so be transformed into His image.
(Photo sourced from freeimages.com provided by Daniel Wildman)
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